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Rajkot’s jain monks refuse to end their fast

    Rajkot (Gujarat), April 6, 2012: All efforts by the district authorities to convince two Jain monks to withdraw their fast unto death protest failed on Thursday. The duo have been on fast for the last eight days demanding complete ban on slaughter houses and sale of meat, egg and other non-vegetarian items in Palitana, one of the most important Jain pilgrimages in the country. Maitriprabh Maharaj Saheb, one of the monks, has threatened to self-immolate after 6:03 pm on Friday if their demands are not met.

    A delegation under the leadership of Bhavnagar district collector along with local MLA and other top officials held a 90-minute long meeting with Jain monks on Thursday. But it did not yield any result as Maitriprabh Maharaj Saheb was adamant on bringing out a notification banning slaughter houses and selling of non-vegetarian items in Palitana.

    “My demands are reasonable considering the holy importance of Palitana and Jain rituals. In 2005, authorities had promised to take action in this regard but there has been no action. I want a complete ban on slaughter houses and sale of all non-vegetarian items. I want nothing less than government notification in this regard,” said the protesting monk.

    There is one slaughter house in Palitana and various places where meat, egg, chicken are served. Many of these items come from outside the city. Jain monks are demanding a blanket ban on sale of these items around 9-km periphery of the holy city of Palitana.

    Speaking on this issue, DG Zalavadia, Bhavnagar district collector said, “I fully respect the faith and spirit of the monks. However, to bring out a notification is beyond my power. It is a long, legal process which involves many departments from the district administration as well as the state government.”

    He further said that though local MLA and other Jain monks tried to convince Maitriprabh Mahraj Saheb, he was adamant. We have taken necessary action and are closely monitoring the situation. -News Courtesy: DNA India

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